Former professional wrestler and current WWE color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler says that he would like nothing better than to learn that the late comedian Andy Kaufman has secretly been alive for decades. Ever since Kaufman, the iconic entertainer, died of a rare form of lung cancer in 1984, there have been numerous conspiracy theories and rumors that the comedian faked his own death, with the latest emerging during this week’s annual Andy Kaufman Awards in New York City.
Alongside Andy’s brother Michael, an unnamed woman, claiming to be the late actor’s daughter, declared that Kaufman was still alive, and that he’d planned to reveal himself at the event, but got cold feet at the last minute.
Below is a TMZ clip of the bizarre revelation:
Michael Kaufman went on to relay an incident involving a letter from Andy 15 years after his death, reading that his remergence would occur at a restaurant on Christmas Eve in 1999. Michael ended up going to the establishment in question, and was handed a note by the parking attendant, supposedly written by Andy.
The letter read, "It was too much pressure to be Andy Kaufman. I just wanted to be Andy. I think that's why I got sick. I had to change completely and quickly. I'm extremely very happily married with the most wonderful wife in the whole wide world and with the two greatest kids: a 10-year-old daughter and a son who is 8."
As any professional wrestler might do, Jerry Lawler quickly made a statement on the matter, telling CNN that (he) "would like nothing better than to know that Andy was still alive and been with us all this time. But like anybody else, I really don't know any more than what I've heard. It could be a great hoax in his honor, dreamed up by his friend Bob Zmuda and his brother, Michael. That would be something that would be in keeping with Andy's tradition, but who's to say. It could really be legit."
In 1982, Lawler commenced a notorious feud with Kaufman, in protest of the comedian's wrestling matches with women, which led to him declaring himself as being the Intergender Heavyweight Champion. A wrestling match, a couple of piledrivers, a hospital visit, a slap to the face and some spilled coffee ensued.
Here's a full clip of some of the antics on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Years later, Lawler appeared as himself in the Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon"; the movie revealed that Lawler's feud with Kaufman had been staged. Lawler went on to reveal that the two were actually very good friends.
Image via YouTube.